Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo assured that he wants to continue playing in top soccer competitions after the age of 40, in the first part of an interview released by ESPN Brazil.
“I am happy. I want to continue and see what happens: if I get to play at 40, 41, 42…. But the most important thing is to enjoy the moment,” the 36-year-old said in the first of three installments of this interview broadcast Wednesday night.
“Genetically speaking, I’m not going to say I feel like I’m 25, there’s no need to exaggerate. But it’s like I’m 30. I take care of my body and my mind,” added the Manchester United striker.
Asked if he compared himself to other sports legends such as American soccer star Tom Brady (43) or tennis player Roger Federer (40), he estimated that they were in “other sports, with different demands”.
“Longevity is something fascinating, which I started to study lately,” said Ronaldo, five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
The secret to staying at the best level, is, according to the star, to have “the intelligence” necessary to “adapt to new situations” .
“I have experience, I know my body. I know when I can and when I can’t (…) I’m proud that people continue to say that Cristiano, with 37, 38… continues to maintain the level of always”.
“There’s something I’ve learned over the last few years: after 33, the body continues to respect you (…) but the hardest battle, in my opinion, is on a mental level.”